How to Coach Employees for Success: 4 Skills All Managers Need to Know
Do you know how to be a good coach in the workplace?
Are you aware that coaching and developing employees is vital to long-term company success?
Workplace coaching is necessary for organizations and teams to achieve greater productivity and results. And it’s not just about bringing someone in from the outside for a few days or weeks. It’s an active, ongoing process that requires managers to be coaching employees to improve performance daily.
However, coaching has become a vague buzzword. It’s often not completely clear what workplace coaching involves and how to coach employees for success.
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about how to be a coach at work and ensure coaching becomes part of your company culture.
So, get your pen and paper ready (or open a virtual note) as we share some of the top workplace coaching skills.
What is Workplace Coaching?
Coaching is the process of providing employees with the feedback, tools, and opportunities necessary to grow and develop professionally. It often involves helping employees identify areas of growth and setting goals to target those areas.
Most people think coaching is an intentional one-on-one relationship between a manager or senior-level employee and junior-level employees. This kind of coaching is valuable and has its place. However, more powerful coaching comes from trained managers who can integrate coaching into everyday work relationships.
If you don’t first train your managers to be more effective coaches, they’ll have difficulty coaching employees to improve performance.
The Need to Train Coaches
Did you know that coaching and developing employees has a significant impact on their performance? Yet, most managers don’t know how to coach employees for success.
It’s suggested that nearly 93% of managers need coaching training to become effective coaches in the workplace. And wouldn’t you rather have great coaches instead of just good coaches?
The first step to creating a strong coaching culture and preparing your managers for success is to offer them coaching training. Training your managers will result in:
- Greater confidence and coaching ability for managers
- Increased engagement in managers and employees
- Improved employee retention due to greater satisfaction with management
If you’re thinking about training your managers, it may be best to invest in a custom coaching program. A custom program allows you to tailor the training to fit your company’s needs and values. It also helps managers know how to be a good coach in the workplace in their specific setting.
Regardless of what kind of coaching program you use, there are some basic skills all good managers should learn.
The Need-to-know Workplace Coaching Skills
Here are four areas that all managers should know, understand, and put into practice regularly with their employees.
1. Active Listening
Every coach needs to be good at listening. And not just hearing what people say, but understanding what they’re saying. We often call this active listening.
Active listening allows you to understand your employees’ concerns and know where they’re coming from. It also ensures that your employees feel heard, which makes them feel valued.
When you genuinely listen to your employees, it builds trust and creates a more comfortable environment for interactions and communication.
2. Regular Communication
Communication follows on the heels of listening. Like actively listening to your employees, good communication goes a long way in building trust with your employees.
Regularly communicating with your employees also keeps everyone on the same page. There’s nothing more frustrating than missing vital information or being left out of the loop. Poor communication is one of the top reasons balls are dropped or projects get slowed down.
Additionally, a culture of open and honest communication makes your employees feel more comfortable coming to you with problems or questions. When employees know you welcome their thoughts or concerns, they’re more likely to come to you with questions, concerns, or ideas.
3. Giving and Receiving Feedback
Feedback is one of the most valuable pieces of the coaching puzzle. It’s a two-way street that allows both the coach and the employee to share openly.
As a coach, you want to share constructive feedback and help your employees improve in growth areas. But it’s also important to provide encouragement. You don’t want your employees to walk away feeling like all their work is coming up short.
It’s also essential for you to invite your employees to share feedback with you. Receiving employee feedback will help you grow as a coach and improve your ability to lead employees.
4. Setting Good Expectations
Lastly, you’ll want to learn how to set consistent and realistic expectations.
Setting consistent expectations means making sure your employees know what you want them to do and not changing things around unless you tell them. Constantly changing your expectations can make knowing and following your feedback difficult. Employees don’t want to be guessing or feel that things are continually shifting.
Creating realistic expectations requires knowing what is achievable. It also involves recognizing when something isn’t doable and making slight adjustments. If you’re not good at setting realistic expectations right away, that’s okay—it’s a skill that takes time to master.
Employees aren’t going to meet every goal each time you set them. But being consistent in your expectations and working towards realistic expectations provides better tracks for employees to run on.
There are other skills that coaches can benefit from knowing, but starting with these four and working towards others is an excellent jumping-off point.
How to Coach Employees for Success
Workplace coaching is a vital part of any company’s success. It’s a way to engage employees and improve their performance.
Coaching employees effectively means using every opportunity possible to help employees improve and develop. The best coaches don’t wait for employees to come to them but integrate coaching into every interaction.
However, many managers aren’t confident in their ability to coach employees. It might be necessary to provide your managers with coaching training to teach them how to be a good coach in the workplace.
If you implement a coaching program, it may be best to start with a few general skills and slowly teach new skills over time. Some of the most beneficial workplace coaching skills are:
- Active listening
- Regular communication
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Setting expectations
Once your managers know how to be a better coach in business, you’ll start to see improvements in your employees and organization.
Not sure how to train your managers or implement a coaching program in your organization?
At Unboxed Training & Technology, we’re your go-to people for coaching and training. Over the years, we’ve perfected the art of training employees. Our custom training solutions provide you with the personalization that’s unique to your organization and teams. And Spoke®, our social LMS, is an award-winning software platform for delivering and tracking employee training.